What Is a Rye Whiskey?

Are you planning to diversify your taste buds? Rye whiskey is a great option. It tastes spicy, grainy and is a hard-end version of Bourbon whisky.

Regarding whiskies, someone famous once said that “There is no bad whiskey. There are only some whiskeys that aren’t as good as others.” Rye whiskey falls under the excellent category.

According to statistics, volumes of sales have increased by 1275 percent in the past 29 years. These statistics indicate that the number of Rye whisky consumers has grown tremendously. If you are a whiskey lover, then this is a must-try.

What Is A Good Rye Whiskey?

These are the days of revival for rye whiskey. Once upon a time, it rose to heights, disappeared, and is back again with a big boom.

Based on law, you must distill rye whiskey from 51 percent of rye grain. The other ingredients used in it can be corn, wheat, barley, and oats. Change in components can result in a shift in flavors when tasted.

The basic combination used in rye whiskey is 60 percent of rye, 30 percent of corn, and 5 percent barley. However, good rye whiskey comprised a minimum of 51 percent of rye grains and distilled to 160 proof and aged in charred oak barrels.

Three Steps Of Making Of Rye Whiskey

Step1: Ingredients

To make the whiskey, add rye, corn, and barley in the proportions mentioned above. Now mix the ingredients with little gypsum and acid into a bag, close it and keep it in hot water and stir it if necessary.

Rye Whiskey Fermentation

Step2: Process and fermentation

After 60 to 90 minutes, add little yeast into this boiling liquid. Now leave this mixture for fermentation. During the fermentation process, you can observe bubbles. No presence of bubbles in the liquid is an indication that it has completed fermentation.

Now it is time to heat this to a fixed temperature. Once done, turn on the condenser where alcohol gets vaporized and leaves water below.

See also  8 Best Luxury Whisky Brands To Invest In

Vaporized alcohol condenses back, and you can collect it in another container. Maintain the required temperature and dispose of the top layer received and collect the rest in small batches and remember to throw out the liquid’s last.

Step3: Storage

Now it is time to store the collected liquid. Get some oak barrels, transfer the whiskey into these barrels, and keep them in a cool indoor environment. There is no fixed time to store the whiskey, but it should be aged for two years to be called straight rye.

When the aging completes, remember to check the alcohol levels. If it is too high, add purified water. The liquor must be minimum of 80 percent of proof, so don’t dilute it more. Now transfer the contents into bottles and store them in a closed environment or a closed room to preserve them longer.

Notes Of Rye Whiskey

Rye is back in the form today as it gives out the best flavors. Experts consider it to be very bold. It is different from other whiskeys as it gives a spicier taste and gives a burn feel to the tongue.

It provides a range of spicy notes like pepper, clove, cinnamon, caraway, and nutmeg—the process of aging and the ingredients used to decide the intense note of any whiskey. For example, corn gives a sweet taste to whiskey. The barley is added to the mix to convert starches to sugar for the fermentation process and provide a malty and chocolate flavor.

What Is A Good Brand Of Rye Whiskey?

5 Famous Rye Whiskey Brand

  • Michter’s US*1 Kentucky Straight Rye: Kentucky has a long history with rye. It comes in a single barrel and is of high quality. It is well balanced with flavors of citrus and pepper. It is typically picked as the top choice of cocktail by many.
  • Redemption Rye Whiskey: It believes in bringing back the classic American Rye cocktail. Doing this works on increasing the profile of rye grains by making 95 percent of rye grains a primary component. It gives out a mint flavor and is aged in oak barrels for an average of 2.5 years.
  • Rittenhouse Straight Rye Whiskey: This has won the Worlds Best American Whiskey award in the year 2010. It is aged a minimum of four years to give out the best flavors. It promises exquisite taste and has a lovely aroma. It offers the best quality at a very reasonable price.
  • WhistlePig 10 Year 100 Proof Rye Whiskey: It is made out of 100 percent rye and has the following features: they pick out only ten-year-old rye and mature it first in Canada. It delivers flavors of mint, clove, caramel, and butterscotch.
  • Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey: Have you ever felt the flavors of cherry and pear in your whiskey? If not, try this. It has 53 percent of rye in it and also gives a fruity and spicy taste of mint.
See also  Best Lemon Juice for Whisky Sour

What Is The Best Rye Whiskey For Manhattan?

Best Rye Whiskey

When we talk about Manhattan, it is a cocktail made out of whiskey, vermouth, and bitters. The top two picks for Manhattan are Knob Creek Straight Rye and George Dickel Rye. Let us talk about them in detail.

Knob Creek Rye

It supposedly uses a little over 51 percent of rye grains as its primary ingredient. You can notice a hint of green apple, charred oak, white pepper, citrus, pine, and vanilla flavors when you taste it. Its first sip shows out with vanilla, rye spice, and oak, and it finishes with the flavors of tannic oak and lighter rye. It is unique as it is the best choice to go with any cocktail and comes out at a very affordable price.

George Dickel Rye

It is easy to drink. It has a very high rye content, nearly up to 95 percent, and the other 5 percent being malt, giving out toffee flavor. This whiskey gives out Manhattan on the lighter side, giving out a sweet taste. To enhance Dickel’s character, add a correct ratio of vermouth into it.

What Is A Good Mix With Rye Whiskey?

Prepare 3 Cocktails With Rye Whisky

An essential factor of rye whiskey is that it will show off its presence and holds on to its flavors like spiciness, no matter whatever you mix into it. Some of the best cocktails you can make using Rye whiskey are:

  • Vieux Carre: This is a very famous cocktail. You can make it out of a mixture of roasted rye, vermouth, benedictine, pipe tobacco, and bitters. It finally gives out a complex taste.
  • Sazerac: This is an old recipe that uses the mixture of rye with sugar cubes of bitters. Once taken, it gives out an unforgettable experience.
  • Waldorf Cocktail: It comes out as a result of mixing rye, anise, and vermouth mix. It is one of the signature drinks in a famous bar.
See also  Best Blended Scotch

What Is A Highly Rated Rye Whiskey?

According to Basil, Hayden’s Dark Rye stands out of all the rye whiskeys. Experts rate it highly for the following reasons:

  • It is a blend of Canadian rye from Alberta, Kentucky rye, and a port from California.
  • It gives out flavors of dark fruits.
  • The whisky can either be taken straight or added to a cocktail.
  • It flavors out black pepper giving a spicy note to the tongue.


I hope that your search for rye whiskey is a fruitful one, and going through the above article helped you get a clear view of what rye whiskey is all about. Don’t forget to try the best combinations to relish the reborn whiskey in a better way. Feel free to comment and share the article if it was of any help to you.